When Readers Become Writers
Frequently, kind readers of my articles write positive and generous replies and share comments from their own life experiences. I have no way of responding with thanks to each of them as only their names appear without contact information. Thus, this article of very sincere thanks.
Perhaps many cannot appreciate how warm the heart of a writer feels when readers acknowledge his/her printed words. It is immense gratitude to those unknown readers who take the time to write.
Some write from Israel. Todah raba. Some write from Brazil. Obrigado. Some write from Hungary. Koszonom. Some write from Holland. Dank U wel. From France — merci beaucoup. From Poland — dziekuje bardzo. And from the English-speaking countries of the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand — many thanks. Oops — I forgot the two writers from Mexico. Muchas gracias.
No matter the language, the appreciation is genuine and from the heart. While my wife was alive, she asked me to read every article I wrote before I sent it off to be published. She often gave suggestions, words to add, words to subtract, and I used to call her my censor. But her advice was always wise.
Being a professional writer is not easy. The writer does not simply pen words on paper or on keyboards. He/she must sit and respond pensively as “The Thinker” and examine his/her soul for inspiration to guide his/her words without offending the reader and keeping his/her interest.
When I was writing my first book in 1967, I turned to a professor of theology for advice. “Where do I begin? How do I end? What can I write that will hopefully interest my readers”? And his reply to me was “don’t write from the brain; write only what is dictated from your heart. Do not be ashamed to share personal experiences. Do not hesitate to bare your soul naked. The reader will understand and will appreciate the honesty.” I have tried to follow that advice.
Recently I told a dear friend that perhaps it is time for me to close the keyboard. After having written and published some 750-800 articles over long years, what more could I write that has not already been written by more prolific authors? He told me never to stop writing. Even at age 84 physically, my mind is stuck somewhere between ages 18-35.
Often I received inspiration while sitting on my balcony in Rishon Lezion. I live on a major street with bustling traffic both ways. Buses, cars, pedestrians, young shouting children…. All these are subjects for my writing. In one earlier story, “In the Garden of My Soul,” I described life in Rishon in 1951 and the enormous changes in the year 2000. The tranquility of the Gan ha-Ir, the municipal park, has been a major conduit for inspiration. I count the number of hundreds of cats who are everywhere in the park, fed by the many dozens of Russian-speaking babushki shaking the carriages of sleeping babies.
What I see and hear are the ammunition which provides words set on printed paper. My political and religious thoughts are surely not acceptable to every reader whose thoughts are contrary to mine. But they are genuine and honest and come from a youthful brain and an old still-beating heart.
It is to my readers who write that I give thanks. Their messages rejuvenate me and uplift my spirits, especially in the days of my great loss and my depression.
I’ll keep writing if you will keep reading and sharing your personal thoughts with me.